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What to use for guard rails?

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  • What to use for guard rails?

    I am about to start on my second routed MDF track. The first one was fun, but lots of rookie mistakes. One thing I haven't figured out is what to use for guard rails. I used some cut down vinyl siding on my first track, but it didn't look very good... worked OK though. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    The easiest solution, and one of the best for protecting cars, is to cut long strips of shower surround. Its a plastic sheet about 1/16th of an inch thick, and takes paint well. Its slippery, bends easily, and you can decorate it with ad banners easily. A few black streaks always add to realism, too.

    Another method, one from an HRW member many years ago, was to make a mold of ARMCO then press heavy foil into it. It was very realistic, and dented perfectly when a car hit it.

    Comment


    • #3
      1/8" Baltic Birch plywood works well. Cut it cross grain and it bends easily. Depending on your track you can nail or screw it to the outside of the curve or route an 1/8" slot and stick it in there. If you want a thicker wall just glue a couple pieces together.
      Butch Dunaway
      Oxford, Ohio

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been working on printing three-high Armco barrier in 1/32nd scale. I've been successful printing it with integral mounting posts, but I couldn't print a very long piece. There's just not enough space on my printer's build plate. However the print is flexible enough that it can be bent to conform to pretty much any size radius, which gives me options.

        Next I am going to try printing without the mounting posts -- just the barrier -- but in a spiral. The model I've created will print 7 feet 4 inches of barrier as a single piece (2.2 meters), yet still fit on my build plate. In addition I have created tapered ends to the barrier, similar to what exists on the real thing.

        My slicer software says it'll take 20 hours to print. It may be a day or three before I can report on my experiment.

        I still need to model the mounting posts. And while I am printing in a metallic-gray PLA filament, I'm still going to see if I can get a more realistic finish with a metallic spray paint. Aluminum would be good. Zinc would be spot-on, but I'm not too hopeful I can find such.

        My first attempt will be in PLA, but PETG might be a better material. Much better physicals than PLA at a very reasonable bump in price. If a test print turns out halfway
        decent I'll use PETG.

        Ed Bianchi

        Click image for larger version

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        Ed Bianchi
        York Pennsylvania USA

        Comment


        • chappyman66
          chappyman66 commented
          Editing a comment
          There is a "hammered metal" silver that might be pretty close to what you want.

        • Bal r 14
          Bal r 14 commented
          Editing a comment
          That sounds and looks very cool!

      • #5
        So....guard rails on the track, vs walls to keep cars from falling to the floor.
        For walls, I like the flexibility of the tunnel surround but I got it free from a remodel. The thin plywood works well too.
        For scenic treatment, Ed's idea is cool, I will be interested to see if it works. But I have a printer.
        I have also used door cap , it worked fine on my big carousel turn.
        Click image for larger version

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        ​​​​​​Thats scenery though, not edge of the table although might work for that too.
        Come Race at The Trace!
        Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
        https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

        Comment


        • #6
          I have 1/2" plywood for around the table. I do like the shower surround idea for around the track. It's similar to using a piece of vinyl siding but a lot thicker. The 1/8" plywood is worth looking into, as well.

          Comment


          • #7
            Check this out.

            https://www.hrwforum.com/forum/road-...in-wood-update

            HTH
            Randy
            Randy C
            Grindrod B.C.
            Canada

            Comment


            • Bal r 14
              Bal r 14 commented
              Editing a comment
              I did check it out previously. I have tried that same cable for guard rails and it didn't work out so well. That cable bends when you lean on it. While I would like to have a very nicely detailed and picturesque track, that won't work so well with the guys on my track. Durability and damage mitigation is the objective. I've got 300lb college offensive linemen grandsons. When they lean on the track to put their cars back in the slot something will give.
              Last edited by Bal r 14; June 10, 2021, 03:57 PM.

            • waaytoomuchintothis
              waaytoomuchintothis commented
              Editing a comment
              Ah, so that's where those guys came from on the other side of the line from me! I only played my freshman year, but the guys on the line opposite me had one eye in the middle of their foreheads and ate raw meat between plays.

          • #8
            I've been checking out vinyl slatwall insert to possibly change my red Carrera flat guardrail to some other color. It is an inch and a quarter wide and comes in 130 foot rolls in a lot of colors. I don't know the thickness but it could be doubled up with contact cement if it is too thin.
            Allan

            Comment


            • #9
              In my mind a guard rail isn't the same thing as a wall. I haven't used anything for guardrails on my road course but thought the default option for track side walls was PVC molding.

              I typically use 1/4" thick by 1 3/4" wide easily bendable PVC molding for outside walls around turns.

              6510 1/4 in. x 1-3/4 in. x 8 ft. PVC Composite White Lattice Molding by Royal Mouldings (at Home Depot for $5.37each).

              I typically use 1/8" thick by 1 1/8" wide PVC molding for inside walls.

              Outside wall on Loop Turn at Shelby-Hendrix Speedway. PVC molding is hot glued to round posts screwed into MDF.

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              On the oval the same PVC molding is used for the outer wall, held in place by square posts w/ skewers pushed through them into holes drilled in the tabletop.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	DSC02037.JPG Views:	3 Size:	5.88 MB ID:	102564

              The taller outside wall is also a great place for signage. Note wood strip used at end of table to keep cars off the floor. However after many years of racing no car has gotten over the PVC outer wall to even get close to the edge of the table.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Shepherd turns 3&4 wall.jpg Views:	3 Size:	1.46 MB ID:	102565
              Last edited by slothead; June 10, 2021, 05:33 PM.

              Comment


              • Bal r 14
                Bal r 14 commented
                Editing a comment
                Great lead. Thanks!

            • #10
              That looks very well done. I wonder if 1/8th inch strips might be easier to handle? The shower surround is very thin and floppy. So much so that I cut the outer jacket of multi-strand cable and snapped it over the edge.

              Comment


              • slothead
                slothead commented
                Editing a comment
                I measured the smaller PVC molding as being 1/8" thick, but it's listed at 5/32" on the Home Depot webpage. Very flexible and yet solid. For this I often just hot glue it to the MDF, no posts needed.

                5534 5/32 in. x 1-1/8 in. x 8 ft. PVC White Lattice Moulding by Royal Mouldings ($4.16 each)

            • #11
              Most of the Shoreline Model Raceways tracks use Sintra for the guard rails.

              Comment


              • waaytoomuchintothis
                waaytoomuchintothis commented
                Editing a comment
                Sintra! That's the name I couldn't remember.

            • #12
              The names for things can vary by region. The images below are what turned up from a search for 'guard rail'.

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              Replicas of these for slot car tracks have been made from a certain type of 2 or 3 conductor electrical wire, or as noted above from heavy aluminum foil or beverage can material pressed into shape.

              Many oval tracks have outside concrete retaining walls topped by catch fences to keep cars out of the grandstands and bleachers. These days high speed ovals often employ what's known as SAFER barriers in front of the concrete wall that deforms to help a car dissipate some speed rather than coming to a dead stop instantly.

              SAFER = Steel and Foam Energy Reduction

              Click image for larger version

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              If anyone has replicated a SAFER barrier on a slot car track I'd like to see how it was done.

              Comment


              • #13
                I use white PVC door stop for track walls . I then drill holes through the top side every eight inches to accept finishing nails to attach it to the track. For wall advertising I print signs on clear labels. They can then be applied using the old peel and stick method where ever you want them
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                For guard rails , I use HVC flashing formed into armco using a shaped block of wood and a Braid roller
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                Last edited by Barc 1; June 11, 2021, 11:56 AM.
                Cheers

                Dan
                G.P Alberta

                Comment


                • slothead
                  slothead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's the type of guard rail I was talking about. Very realistic.

              • #14
                What the heck is HVC flashing? I looked on the web and got nothing that could be used.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Originally posted by waaytoomuchintothis View Post
                  What the heck is HVC flashing? I looked on the web and got nothing that could be used.
                  I may have the acronym wrong. It is the metal flashing that furnace and air conditioning guys use
                  Cheers

                  Dan
                  G.P Alberta

                  Comment


                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    HVAC - heating, ventilation, air conditioning.

                  • waaytoomuchintothis
                    waaytoomuchintothis commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I shoulda seen that. I've become inured to TLA's. (three-letter-acronyms)
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